Palace: Duterte ‘will not interfere’ with bill to lower age of criminal liability
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte “will not interfere” and would let Congress decide and work on the proposed law, seeking to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to nine years old.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said Duterte, though yet to specify which age should be set as minimum age of criminal liability, would leave the matter up to lawmakers.
“The President will not interfere with the measure, because that’s the lawmakers’ job. We will wait kung ano ang final,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“All he (Duterte) has been saying since the campaign is he wants that lowered. And we will leave that to the lawmakers,” he added.
The House of Representatives justice committee on Monday approved a proposed measure lowering the age of criminal liability to nine years old.
READ: House panel swiftly okays lower age of criminal liability
In his previous speaking engagements, Duterte has called for the amendment of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 authored by Senator Francis Pangilinan, which he tagged as the person behind the proliferation of “people of criminal minds.”
Under Republic Act 9344, also known as the Pangilinan Law, a child 15 years of age or under shall be exempted from criminal liability and will only be subjected to an “intervention program.”
In the Senate, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1603 seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal liablity to 12 years old, while Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed SBN 2026, seeking to lower the age of criminal responsibility to “above 12 years old.” /kga
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